PANO – As usual, when spring comes, youths nationwide heartily and eagerly join the army in the first enlistment call of the year. The day when youths join the army is called the Day of Youths or Enlistment Festival.

Over the past years, especially in 2015, the military recruitment work has shown progress which can be clearly seen in the quality of enlistees, especially in education levels. Those successfully admitted to military service all hold good political stance and tens of thousands of youths have volunteered to be enlisted. In 2015, a number of localities pro-actively developed their cadre sources from the enlistees. Therefore, hundreds of Party-candidate courses were opened and tens of thousands of youths underwent the courses before joining the army. In general, the military recruitment work in recent years has seen good results, serving as the basis for the building of a revolutionary, regular, elite and gradually-modernized army.

Senior Lieutenant General Phuong Minh Hoa, Deputy Director of the General Department of Politics of the Vietnam People's Army, talking with recruits in Son Tay town, Hanoi, in the enlistment call in 2016

2016 is the first year of implementing military recruitment under the Amended and Supplemented Law on Military Service (LMS) passed in 2015. Accordingly, the first enlistment call will be conducted from February 23rd to 27th. There will be tens of thousands of youths across the country enlisted.

As this is an important political task of the year, local Party committees and governments have actively focused their efforts on performing the task. Localities have  implemented recruitment screening sessions. Many communes have organized discussion sessions to consider each enlistee who has passed the screening stage, so that the principles of democracy, fairness and openness in military recruitment are transparently practiced. Initial statistics show that the quality of military recruitment in 2016 is better. The proportion of enlistees holding college and university degrees has increased compared to 2015 and Hanoi is still the locality to take the lead, with 55% of the enlistees having graduated from colleges and universities. That fact has proved that the national call to service has been basically prepared, ensuring the pro-activeness of the recruitment. The enlistees themselves and their families are well aware of the noble task of safeguarding the Fatherland.

These achievements are partly thanks to the good dissemination and education of LMS, localities’ traditions and policy and homefront work. There have been thousands of education sessions on tradition and patriotism held for youths by veterans and heroes of the people’s armed forces. There have been also many models implemented to support families of the enlistees such as passbook presentation, support of labor and more. Most of the localities completed receiving youths who finished their military service, returning home before the lunar New Year and many of them have been provided with jobs or vocational training. These activities of localities and related agencies have created a good impact on people, helping the youths stay secure and assured when joining the army.

However, there still remain localities without thorough dissemination and education work concerning military service, resulting in evasion of service. Some parents are still not fully aware of LMS so they have yet to actively persuade their children to join the army. Particularly, some localities are still facing difficulties in calling up youths and youths holding college and university degrees. Others have yet to implement the home front policy as their reception and creation of jobs for demobilized soldiers still show shortcomings, affecting the quality of recruitment.

The shortcomings and inadequacy mentioned above need to be urgently overcome. Evasion acts should be severely dealt with in accordance with law. Falsified and distorted information and arguments concerning military recruitment should be refuted. To gradually make military service a pride and aspiration of all Vietnamese youths is the responsibility of the political system of localities.

To create an atmosphere of excitement in enlistment days, localities also need to prepare well for enlistee handover ceremonies, making the day a real festival for youths to embark on the path to safeguard the nation, leaving good impressions on every recruit. Military units should make good preparations to receive new soldiers. Barracks and facilities should be double-checked to ensure that the units can quickly organize training in line with regulations of the Ministry of National Defense.

Serving in the army is the obligation, responsibility, right and also the pride of each and every Vietnamese youth. Efforts of local authorities and enthusiasm of youths are the basis for the enlistment festival to be a success. That is also one of the key factors to building a revolutionary, regular, elite and gradually-modernized people’s army, serving as the core force in safeguarding the Fatherland and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

People’s Army Newspaper

Translated by Huu Duong